SunFunder support to deploy first-mile cold chain installations in Africa

SunFunder, a recurring partner of InspiraFarms has confirmed a new $500k loan which will provide working capital to deploy our agricultural first-mile cold chain installations in Africa.

The new loan is the first step in a new collaboration on a pioneering asset financing structure to support the rollout of units. SunFunder is also providing advisory services in order to structure an optimal financing vehicle for end users, in order to lower the upfront cost of adopting InspiraFarms technology.

Rim Azirar, Senior Investment Officer at SunFunder leading the transaction, said: “We believe that end user financing structures are an important piece of the puzzle for taking productive use of solar from niche innovations to the mass market. InspiraFarms has been a partner of ours for several years and we are delighted to be pioneering this together.”

SunFunder completed their first loan with InspiraFarms in 2017, and continues to play a leading role working with earlier-stage solar enterprises in Africa.

Michele Bruni, CEO at InspiraFarms, said: “Asset finance is a successful instrument to unlock capital for agribusinesses with urgent needs for first-mile cold chain technology for reducing post-harvest losses and maintaining export quality of their fresh produce. The new funding provided by SunFunder will scale-up InspiraFarms’ asset finance credit facility, to finance a larger number of clients in Africa requiring our cold chain and post-harvest management technology.”

Earlier on in the year, with support from SunFunder and in collaboration with IKEAFoundation, we developed Inspira cool, a solar-powered cold room and processing system that helps bring clean energy solutions into the first-mile cold chain, benefiting farmers & agribusiness in Kenya and all Subsaharan Africa.

A short film was created telling the story of Christine Kalekye Mavuti in Machakos, Kenya. The InspiraFarms installation featured is an international food supply chain business Agriprocity’s first investment in Africa, where it is applying a distributed processing model to connect local suppliers with international markets.

“This is a good project because it will economically uplift our village,” says Christine. “It will really help them because they’ll have a market for their produce, so they won’t have crop waste. They’ll get work and earn money and use that money to uplift their homes.”

The larger asset financing facility SunFunder is structuring will support adoption by our clients like Agriprocity.

SunFunder provides innovative debt financing for solar enterprises working in emerging and frontier markets. In a sector that still faces a lack of commercially-scalable financing, they develop successful models for unlocking investor capital and providing the financing required to power lasting change.

Having unlocked over $135 million through their blended debt funds and deployed $82 million to 46 solar companies and projects, they have helped over 7 million people with access to clean, reliable energy while 611k tons of CO2 is mitigated annually.​